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European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are an invasive species in the United States that damage agriculture, personal property, and threaten human health and safety. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services provides technical support to mitigate damage by controlling starling populations at concentrated animal feeding operations, landfills, utilities, and urban areas. Wildlife Services uses DRC-1339, a registered toxicant, to reduce starling populations. Trapping can also be an effective tool but requires more time at a higher cost than DRC-1339. Trapping starlings, however, may be needed to provide a viable alternative to mitigate damage in areas where toxicant use may be restricted. To address this need, I developed a unique and effective starling trap to increase catch rates. I began testing multiple trap designs in November 2007 at cattle (Bos taurus) feedlots, meat processing plants, and urban staging areas in a 45-km radius of the city of Omaha, Nebraska, USA. In December 2011, I designed a 4-chamber, basket-style starling trap that has been instrumental in a nearly 90% reduction of the roosting starling population in downtown Omaha. Herein, I discuss the development and testing of the trap and provide guidelines and instructions for building and strategic placement of the trap.
Thiele, James R.
"One Step Closer to a Better Starling Trap,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 14
, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol14/iss3/12